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“poor service”

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Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
Ranked #3 of 110 Hotels in Manila
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 3, 2009

we arrived august 29, the check in person who was a manager of sorts who spoke very fast in english , she was ok accept no warmth or the hint of a welcoming smile as is usual with filipinas, on inspecting our room with a king size bed and a very new bathroom which is world class, we noticed the bar fridge was not cold we reported this and eventually a man with screwdrivers and tools turned up and he said the fridge is not cold if it is still not cold we will replace it we rang again the next day and a man with the same tools turned up and said its not cold and if it does not get cold it will be replaced yeah!! i know it was not cold my wife knows its not cold and working!! did it get fixed ? no!! and there were missing items from its contents we were lucky we were not charged for them as my wife complained!! we went for breakfast and the supposed fantastic breakfast was frankly disappointing just average and very poor service!!, so as it was my first try at an accor hotel we will not be renewing our membership its a shame our stay could have been great but alas poor service was all we got kevin book sydney australia

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kevjon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 2, 2009

I had read negative reviews about this hotel prior to booking for a stay there but had hoped that our experience would be different. Unfortunately, we did not find our stay very pleasant. A lot of it had to do with the very poor service at the hotel.
Upon checking in, we specifically asked for a room with a king-sized bed since we were a couple with a young child. (We planned on asking for an extra bed for our child.) When we got to our room, it was one with 2 single beds. We immediately called the front desk to ask to be moved to another room. We requested to be moved as soon as possible since we wanted to go for an afternoon swim already. We had to make at least 7 calls and wait for more than 2 1/2 hours before we were allowed to move. In other words, we weren't able to swim that afternoon.
We ate at Spiral for lunch and were surprised at how badly trained their servers were. The waiter gave us 1 menu for 3 people. We had no napkins at our table. When our bread and butter came, we were not given bread plates or butter knives. We assumed they were coming but they didn't arrive. We had to ask for them. It was very difficult to get the attention of the waiters. This happened while the restaurant was not even half-full. When we passed by Galette, the pastry shop, there were so many people with not a single person attending to them. We actually heard some people commenting, "Aren't there any people here?" When we wanted to order room service, we realized we didn't have a menu in our room. We called to ask for one and had to wait about 45 minutes to get it. When our food came, the waiter just brought the table into the room without setting it up. We had to figure out on our own how to lift the sides of the table to make it bigger. These may be small things but these are not things you're supposed to see in a 5-star hotel that charges a lot. These are things you are not supposed to see in 5-star hotels where employees are supposed to be well-trained.
What was also surprising was when we would make calls within the hotel, it seemed very difficult to do. The operator would take messages for the front desk people since they could not be reached and the messages were never relayed. A number of times we tried to call the operator and the line would just be ringing. Nobody would be answering. That is not supposed to happen in a 5-star hotel.
I also noticed that housekeeping didn't replenish the toiletries in the bathroom. Usually, 5-star hotels place new bottles of shampoo or bars of soap if they see that the guests have opened the ones previously placed there. In this hotel, they just made us use what was left from the day before and didn't give us new supply.
I also read about people's feet getting blue because of the paint in the swimming pool. That happened to us too. We also swam early in the morning and saw that the water was already very dirty. You would at least expect the water to be somewhat clean first thing in the morning. Luckily for the hotel, the blue paint of the pool makes the dirt less obvious.
The renovation done on the hotel has made it look newer and nicer. The food was also quite good. You can see that the hotel has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the service at this hotel is terrible. You can stay at some other 5-star hotel that does not charge as much and get much better service.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank megurogirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2009

I've already been able to eat buffets at the shangri-la hotels, mandarin hotel and dusit with my family and sofitel has the worst service!!

Yesterday we ate at sofitel for their lunch buffet. During the course, I asked for more water from a waiter who gave me a look that didn't want to be bothered so I was already thinking he won't give me my water and he didn't! (All this time there were no waiters near us to ask for more water) So when I saw and asked water from him again, he didn't even have an apologetic face that he forgot. I saw him grab a pitcher of water then went to our table, gave my dad water (NOT EVEN ME! who has been asking for water twice!) then the other table beside us asked for water and the waiter went to their side and gave TWO of them the water they needed and ignored our table completely! (we were a table of 7) so I went straight to him and told him off and guess what his reason was?? "Sorry but the other table asked for water and I ran out" that really pissed me off. I WAS THE FIRST ONE TO ASK FOR WATER AND HE GIVES OUR WATER TO THE TABLE BESIDE US!

The waiter didn't have a nameplate (which was odd) so I didn't get his name but he's the only one there with a big beer belly.

The food was not even exceptionally great (dusit cross-over buffet is better), they're the farthest hotel from where I live and the most expensive buffet than the other buffet hotels considering we have discount cards in all the hotels I mentioned including sofitel.

Stayed: August 2009
Thank Bad_good_Experiences
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2009

After a long flight from Munich in Germany to Manila, I expected "perfection" in Sofitel. And I got it. I was staying in Philippines for 3,5 weeks and I wanted something like a holiday feeling already in Manila. And really, in Sofitel you feel like in holiday. It is situated directly at the Manila Bay. The swimming pools are really fantastic (European standard!). And everything is so huge. To the dining room downstairs, you use the escalator! All in all a very satisfying hotel !

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank DrDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2009

I stayed with my family after Christmas. I paid extra to stay on the Executive floor. You get free breakfast and snacks. You get a a nice view of Manila Bay, my room having a direct view of the Mall of Asia. The staff was very helpful. The property is very secure. There are security check points to ensure only hotel guests were allowed and bags are searched before entering hotel.

The rooms were very nice. There's a nice desk and 30" flat screen tv. The only comment was I felt the room smelled like mold. Could be because of the humidity outside and the ac from the inside, or it could be Manila Bay.

The pool was nice. The only thing was it wasn't heated. Also, the slide is made out of cement so be careful. You are 5 minutes away from the Mall of Asia and about 30 minutes away from green Hills Mall. I did not try the buffet.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank kps1995
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2009

After several stays at the various Makati five star hotels we decided to try something different this trip. After hearing positive comments from friends in Manila about the recent renovation and change in ownership, we decided to try out the Sofitel. Big mistake...

It started straight from check-in. We had paid up for one of the higher room classes (superior with bay view) but were nonetheless told that we needed to pay an additional charge to have an extra bed for our two small children. Of course this is common at many hotels but they will normally make an exception if the bed is for children and you are in a higher room class. There was no budging here however. Even after we complained that the hotel was charging a premium to other five star hotels in Manila that would typcially provide an extra bed free of charge, the lady at the check-in insisted that we would have to pay up.

We decided to let it pass and focus on enjoying our stay. After completing check-in and struggling to get up the wonky lift (we soon learned the lifts in this hotel are constantly malfunctioning) we made it to our room floor. Our porter, who was very kind and polite for the most part, attempted to open the door to our room. After a few minutes of struggling he declared that the battery on our electronic door lock had died and that he would need to call maintenance. He did so immediately but 15 minutes later my entire family was still sitting in the hallway with our luggage waiting for someone to respond!

At this point we were allowed to enter an adjacent room and make a phone call to the front desk. Upon entering we were surprised to see how small the "superior" room was and how the "bay view" we had paid a premium for was in fact a view of a dusty empty lot and the old "haunted" Manila Film Center beyond it with barely a "peak-a-view" of the bay.

The front desk clerk on the phone (the same one who had insisted we pay up for the extra bed) informed us that it would take another 15-20 minutes to repair the door and finally had the good sense to ask if maybe we would like shift to another room rather than wait longer in the hallway!? We headed back down to the wonky lift to the lobby where, upon seeing our frustration, somebody senior at the reception desk finally stepped in to attend to us. After complaining about being forced to wait in the hall and being charged a premium for a non-existant bay view and an extra bed, we were told that we would be upgraded to a "suite" and that there would be no additional charge for the bed to make up for the inconvenience. We thought this was an excellent recovery to what was obviously a difficult situation. Upon moving to the new room, however, we found out it was exactly the same as the first room we had seen (by no means a "suite") but with nice view of the pool and the bay.

With the check-in debacle behind us we decided to focus on relaxing and enjoying our stay. We soon learned, however, that this was easier said than done in a hotel that focuses 80% of its attention on the impressive and no doubt lucrative trade it does at its popular buffet restaurant (mostly patronized by local diners). The remaining 20% of the effort spent on making its international guests comfortable falls very far short of being able to be considered five star.

Here are just three highlights from our stay at Sofitel that have made it to the top of our five star hotel hall of shame:

* Upon entering the poolside bathroom / change house with my children we noticed a horrible smell and soon saw that somebody had chosen the convenience of defecating on the floor in front of the stall rather than in the toilet itself. While disgusted, I did not immediately consider this as a black mark against the hotel management since it is impossible for them to control the behaviour of their guests. However, upon returning to the same change room FOUR HOURS LATER and finding that the feces was still festering untouched on the floor I gave up all hope for this hotel.

* On our first visit to the poolside bar for lunch my wife decided to order a mojito from the drinks menu. We had been to a bar outside the hotel the night before and found the bartender had truly mastered the mojito! Given the hotel was charging more than double what the bar the night before was charging, we assumed it would at least be passable. Twenty minutes later, long after everyone elses drinks had been served, my wife was still waiting for her mojito. Finally something resembling lime kool-aid with a few wilted mint leaves floating in it arrived. The server who brought the drink clearly new that it was not up to scratch as she was very sheepish upon delivery of it and then hung about nervously while my wife tasted it. The mojito is not any easy drink to mix and one has to be a bit forgiving, but this was truly undrinkable!! Rather than making a scene my wife very patiently and kindly gave some advice to the server on how to fix the drink. When it returned ten more minutes later in an even worse state, I finally lost it and insisted that they change it for a beer since the bartender was clearly incapable of mixing a passable cocktail. At that point any proper five star hotel would have at least offered a solid apology and probably an alternative on the house....oh but not here! Not only that...when the bill came they had the nerve to try to charge us for BOTH the undrinkable mojito AND the replacement beer!!!

* One of the attractions of this hotel compared to five star peers in Makati was the pool. Indeed, it is a great pool for families (just be careful where you step in the change room!). We soon figured out, however, that something was not quite right when upon returning from our swim we noticed that all of our feet and our bathing suits were stained with some sort of blue paint. Obviously they had recently painted the entire pool but did not wait long enough for it to dry. Ruining our bathing suits and leaving us to scrub the paint off our feet and elbows was bad enough....I don't want to even think about the health implications of swimming in a pool mixed with fresh paint! To top it off we soon learned that there is no drinks or food service at the poolside. You need to walk quite a distance to the pool bar (the one with the bartender that can't mix drinks) to get anything. I guess this hotel is printing so much money at its buffet that it doesn't feel the need to push drinks at the poolside.

Not only is the service at this "five star" hotel shockingly sub-par, we found they try to gouge their guests for little priviledges that should otherwise be complimentary. Take for example the mini-golf course they proudly advertise on their website. This was another attraction for us, but upon our first attempt to play we were told we would have to pay a "green fee" of PHP500 per person plus a club rental fee of PHP250 per person!!! Now this is not a huge amount of money by international standards, but it's really the principle of the matter. Most five star hotels would not charge for use facilities on the site. Maybe a small fee or deposit for equipment rental but a "green fee" for mini-golf!!? Needless to say we declined to play and returned to the "paint pool". Come to think of it, we should have asked them to pay us back for the swim suits that we ruined in their pool!

It is also worth highlighting that this is the NOISIEST "five star" hotel I have ever stayed in. Given how stingy the front desk was with its extra bed policy, I was suprised to see that many of the rooms seemed to have 5-10 people staying in them!! Needless to say, this resulted in lots of noise at all hours of the day from the other guest rooms. The hotel staff also have a habit of shouting to each other down the hallways as they make their early morning cleaning rounds. I got an even earlier and unwanted wake up call one morning when the phone rang at 3AM. Upon answering someone from the front desk quickly said "Oh sorry! This is the front desk...I mistakenly dialled your number!" and then they promptly hung up the phone!!!

In conclusion, the only redeeming qualities of this hotel are the newly refurbished lobby and the buffet, which is good but by no means the best in the city. Given hotel management's seemingly single minded focus on that part of the business, they should really just close down the rest of the hotel and spare travellers paying a premium for a sub-standard hotel experience!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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8  Thank SingaporeFlyer71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2009

I had my cousin booked this hotel for us and paid for it so I don't have any opinion towards the value. We stayed at 7th floor and the room we stayed is great, I especially enjoyed their shower and beddings. The beddings are soft and clean white linnens. The staffs are great and the fuffet is wonderfull. We had the partial view of bay and overlooking mall of asia.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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Thank mstaigertravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

Address: Roxas Boulevard | CCP Complex, Manila, Luzon 1300, Philippines
Phone Number:
Location: Philippines > Luzon > Metro Manila > Manila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Manila
#3 Romantic Hotel in Manila
#3 Business Hotel in Manila
#3 Luxury Hotel in Manila
#4 Family Hotel in Manila
Price Range: $130 - $293 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila 5*
Number of rooms: 609
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is an iconic 5-star luxury resort nestled in an expansive tropical setting. Renowned for its magnificent contrast of captivating sunsets and the sparkling waters of Manila Bay, the hotel attracts international and local travelers alike with its signature Filipino brand of hospitality and the French joie de vivre reflected in its service rituals; from entertainment, food and wine offerings. Nestled adjacent to the historic Cultural Center of the Philippines, Sofitel Philippine Plaza boasts of a location within the city beat and the refreshing tranquillity of the bay. It stands 15 minutes away from the international and domestic airports and approximately 30 minutes away from Makati City, the central business and commercial district of thriving shopping, dining and entertainment venues. Spiral is the hotel's most interactive restaurant in the Asia Pacific Region, featuring 21 ateliers of the world's best cuisine in one magnificent destination. Other than Spiral, Sofitel Philippine Plaza also has other restaurants and bars including Le Bar, a bistro, patisserie and library in one destination, La Veranda, a Parisian-style bar with an indoor lounge that stretches to an outdoor terrace, Snaps Sports Bar, a sleek and modern bar for sports enthusiasts, and the Sunset Bar, the idyllic blend of a picturesque outdoor dining venue. The first of its kind in Asia, the Vietura Aesthetic Lifestyle features anti-aging, detox and weight management along with a comprehensive services menu of holistic, personalized beauty and wellness programs. It combines non-invasive aesthetic procedures, integrative medicine and lifestyle coaching tailored to fit the individual's needs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Philippine Travel
Sofitel Manila
Accor Philippine Plaza Manila
Philippine Plaza
Hotel Philippine Plaza
Sofitel Philippines
Sofitel Philippine Plaza
Manila Sofitel
Westin Philippine Plaza

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